The Action Training Systems Emergency Responder Blog

Guest blog written for Action Training Systems by Battalion Chief Robert Avsec (Ret.)

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Since the early days of the Republic, volunteer firefighters have played a key role in providing fire protection in communities across the U.S. The last several decades, however, the number of active volunteer firefighters has continued to decline as older members retire and are not replaced by younger members.

According to the most recent NFPA estimates, of the approximately 1,0...

Guest blog written for Action Training Systems by Battalion Chief Robert Avsec (Ret.)

SW-DistractedDriving-Clean-1By now, most of us are familiar — or should be — with using our emergency vehicles as a shield against oncoming traffic to protect first responders and civilians while operating on a roadway. In addition, we use emergency warning lights and other items such as road flares and traffic cones to capture the attention of oncoming drivers. 

Despite these efforts, we still see far too many stories such as this one that came out of Hanover...

Guest blog written for Action Training Systems by Battalion Chief Robert Avsec (Ret.)

yelmPop quiz: What is signified by the low-pressure alarm on your SCBA sounding?

If you answered, "I have 5 minutes of air left," consider yourself to officially be a fire service "dinosaur."

That low-air alarm—official name is the End-of-Service-Time Indicator (EOSTI)—has been a feature of SCBA in the fire service since the first units appeared on fire scenes more than 5 decades ago. But it's now "caveman" technology in the world where the current generation of SCBA is more a "Land a Rover on Mars" technology.

Today's SCBA provides firefighters with more than just a supply of breathing...

Guest blog written for Action Training Systems by Battalion Chief Robert Avsec (Ret.)

Rhoda Mae KerrBefore she became a firefighter and began a 30-year (and still counting) career in the fire service, Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr was a coach and physical education teacher at the high school level for 12 years. It's not hard to imagine Kerr in that role, as she's widely known in the fire service for her infectious smile, laughter, and energy. When it comes to the embodiment of a leader as someone who strives to make the people around her better than they think they can be, Chief Kerr is a "five-star" performer.

Chief Kerr is a fourth-generation firefighter wit...

Guest blog written by Battalion Chief Robert Avsec (Ret.)

NFPA 3000

For only the second time in its 121-year history, the National Fire Protection Association is preparing to publish a new standard, NFPA 3000: Standard for Preparedness and Response to Active Shooter and/or Hostile Events, with provisional standard status. Provisional standards are developed when there is a serious life safety concern that warrants an abbreviated standards development process.

clark-burton 11691235Fire Service Leadership Profiles — Burton Clark
Guest blog written by Battalion Chief Robert Avsec (Ret.)

After writing the first leadership profile of Dr. Denis Onieal, the subject of the next article in that series immediately came to mind. Dr. Burton Clark, Ed.D., was a natural choice because he’s had a tremendous impact on my fire service career and likely hundreds of thousands of my colleagues over the year...

onieal portraitFire Service Leadership Profiles — Dr. Denis Onieal
Guest blog written by Battalion Chief Robert Avsec (Ret.)

The recent passing of fire service legend Fire Chief (Ret.) Alan Brunacini was followed by an incredible outpouring of condolences for the Brunacini family and the fire service around the globe. The posts on social media and on fire service websites provided an incredible array of stories, reminisces and a genuine love for the man who taught us how to be a fire ground commander and he also introduced us to "Mrs. Smith." And he took the title of ...

scene safetyFirefighters and medics working at the scene of a motor vehicle crash (MVC) are increasingly being exposed to the risk of becoming the victim of a secondary crash. We regularly see instances where first-responders are killed or seriously injured, or their apparatus destroyed, by the reckless actions of inattentive or distracted drivers. The situation for potential disaster is only exacerbated with more individuals with more technology in their care, traveling over poorly maintained roads and highways in many areas of the country.

One of the most important responsibilities for fire officers and firefighters...

Guest blog writtn for ATS by Robert Avsec

RFPA request for proposal, or RFP, is a business tool that should be used by a fire department’s leadership to ensure that your department obtains the most competitively priced goods and services to meet your organization’s training needs. A well-written RFP can ensure that your department’s expectations are clearly understood by potential vendors. 

For potential vendors, your RFP should provide them with a guide that enables them to accurately and completely describe the who, what, when, why, and how they will meet the expectations you set...